Fitness centers are everywhere and at this time in history the fitness industry is moving more and more toward smaller, boutique, fitness experiences. You are seeing cycling studios pop up everywhere, kettlebell studios in every town…and the examples go on and on. The industry is moving toward specialization and that’s awesome but inevitably it’s all going to come back around to the idea that the majority of people like a variety of different things over time. With that, fitness centers that can appeal to a wide variety of people by offering very personalized specialty workout formats while also offering the staple things gym goers have come to expect are still the most popular thing going. Which leads us to the topic at hand – moving your local fitness center into your home. How do you take the best the fitness center has to offer and put a nice portion of that into your own personal space without breaking the bank? Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
Top 3 Home Gym Upgrades of 2021
- 4 High Quality Kettlebells – just a few, not a whole set. I’ve linked to RKC kettlebells and they are top tier for sure! The bottom line is you can get more work out of a few good tools than you can from overbuying and wasting money. Weights depend on each person as an individual, but for most basic lifts, I’ve found that a 15, 25, 35 and 55 lb. kettlebell are just about all most people will ever need if they train smart and stay creative.
- 1 Perfectly Designed Plyo Box – just one! The cool thing is that if you read my previous article on plyo boxes you’ll know they now make 6-sided boxes that are rock solid and allow you to have 3 different sized boxes all in 1. I recommend a 20in./18in./16in. box.
- Pro-grade Suspension Training System – and the TRX commercial model is the best thing around. Has been for years but I bet you still don’t have one. That’s crazy! It’s too sturdy, too effective and too versatile to leave out of any home gym.
Honorable Mention Home Gym Upgrades of 2021
- Indian Club System – mobility and joint stability are fundamental to all forms of human movement. I don’t care how much you squat or bench press, your strength and range of motion are going to be limited by your ability to mobilize and stabilize your joints. Healthy, strong, mobile and stable joints make for a much more athletic, agile and strong physique. Take some time to use these old, yet simple tools to develop your mobility and joint stability so you can take all aspects of your fitness training system to new levels.
- Club Quality Multi-Use Rack – now the home gym model is identical to the commercial fitness center model. That’s a new aspect to the equipment manufacturing environment because home gym users are demanding club quality equipment in their homes at great prices. This piece is absolutely worth every penny. It’s durable, strong, very safe and versatile. What more do you need in a rack?
- Pull Up System with Band Assist – A high quality pull up bar used to be virtually useless to most people who couldn’t do a pull-up. Now, because exercise bands are made with such great materials, just about anyone can take advantage of a pull-up bar simply by buying a couple really inexpensive bands to assist them.
- Club Quality Hex Bar – Dead lifts, farmer’s carries and so on – a high quality hex bar is a great addition (and space saver) for any well equipped home gym. If you haven’t quite developed the mobility in the hips and upper back to do a dead lift with a bar in front of you, try using the hex bar until you gain the mobility needed to do whatever dead lift variation you want.
- Airdyne Bike – This thing will rock your world! Yes, it’s an investment but the ease of use, durability and amazing exercise applications are worth every cent. There is no start-up time just jump on and go! When you’re limited on time and are moving quickly through your home gym workout, you need to be able to transition from one movement to the next and the airdyne bike plays that role perfectly!
These are the top home gym upgrades of 2021 in my professional opinion. Sure, you need a high density foam roller, an olympic bar, hopefully some dumbbells and a bench, maybe even a heavy bag, but these items listed here will take these staple pieces of equipment and make them amazingly effective as part of your comprehensive training system. Adding shoulder mobility work with Indian Clubs to your chest training is not only effective but wise. Putting some heart pounding Airdyne bike sprints into your workout of kettlebell swings, TRX core work and hex bar dead lifts sounds like a winning combination to me! Get fit, stay fit, train hard, train smart and for certain, check out the items I’ve listed here as the best home gym upgrades of 2021.